Written by Howard Blankman Friday, 08 March 2013 00:00
Port Washington has been my home since the late ’50s—more than half my life. I love the town. I almost feel like a Clam Digger. But I know I’m not. A “Clam Digger” is a name reserved for those born here when locals dug for clams.
How do I know? Because I asked an old friend, Reed Markham, who is a real fourth-generation Clam Digger. Markham lives and raised a family in a house on Jackson Street, built by his great-grandfather (mother’s side) Alfred C. Bayles as a wedding present for his son Alfred S. Bayles, PhD. (Reed’s grandfather and “Doc” Bayles to locals). Reed says he likes to tell people he owns the Long Island Rail Road. My eyes popped; he explained.
In 1897, Alfred C. was the catalyst who sparked the drive that brought the Long Island Rail Road into Port. He owned the land the LIRR coveted for its station – a piece 66 feet wide, running 700 feet from Main Street south. While other local landowners sold their surrounding properties to the LIRR, Alfred C. granted the railroad a right-of-way for free. But no fool was he. Mr. Bayles got a restrictive covenant which, in effect, said, “You guys can use my land for your railroad, but should you get cute and try to use it for anything else, it reverts back to the Bayles/Markham family.” Added Markham, with a chuckle and an I-gotcha smile, “They [LIRR] can’t condemn it because they got it for nothing.” That’s one for the little guys.
You are cordially invited... along with your family, friends and neighbors, to join Everybody’s Port. It’s a new kind of club that really is not a club at all. No dues, no officers and no meetings. And the only thing it takes to join is a shared deep affection for and pride in Port Washington. In return, you can have a hand in this column any time you’ve got a hankering to. Like the rest of the Port Washington News, this space is to be people-oriented, a place where you and what you do are prime. Your help is needed to ensure that this column carries information in an entertaining way that you will look forward to reading every week.
Frankly, the only way that can happen is for you to be a kind of roving reporter and shoot me news that you would like to see in print. It could reflect how you feel about something and why. And it can be humorous, sad, patriotic, surprising, historical, personal, or whatever tingles your bell.
For example, your church/temple/ synagogue, social group, club, school or whatever is putting on a play or doing something special. Tell me about it in advance. Invite me to come, and maybe I will. If it’s a play or musical production, please give me about three weeks’ notice. I’ll come to a rehearsal and try to write about it prior to its first performance — not as a drama critic, but as someone who wants to tell Port Washington that something good is about to happen here.
At all times, the content of this column will be restricted to Port’s people and what’s going on here. Take this past Valentine’s Day: The Cow Bay Theatre Company presented a dinner-theater potpourri of love songs dedicated to the legendary patron of love, St. Valentine, at Ayhan’s Mediterranean Marketplace Café. While St. Valentine was never a resident of Port, most of the singers were. Schreiber graduate, Laura Leigh Carroll emceed and sang as good as she looked; Schreiber grad Jake Glickman (accompanying himself on piano) delighted the crowd with two Beatles’ songs; nationally-acclaimed Elana Hayden (lives here), singing over a cold, delivered a masterful performance of “My Funny Valentine”; Michael Copeland (lives here, too) did Dylan, and Warren Schein, Port’s COC co-prez, tickled everyone’s funny bone and sang like the pro he is. Some of Schein’s groupies were also on hand, including Linda and Neville Newby, Marion and Allan Hirsch former Port Singers stalwarts.
Everybody’s Port Question Of The Week: Somewhere in this column a body of water is mentioned. Can you name it and tell how it came by its name? Be the first to email me the correct \answer and you win a prize. See ya’ next week with the winner’s name.
Friday, 01 November 2013 00:00
Gould A. ‘Stretch’ Ryder III, accomplished sailor, pilot, businessman, civic leader, and steward of the beautiful waterfront of Port Washington, passed away Oct. 24 at The Amsterdam at Harborside Hospice Center in Port Washington.
Stretch, as he was known to all, was well known as part of the crew on Ted Turner’s “Courageous” when it won the America’s Cup in 1977. Turner stayed in touch and visited Stretch last week.
Stretch’s life was marked by numerous personal contributions and accomplishments.
Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00
Parents concerned about classroom sizes spoke up at the Port Washington Board of Education meeting, as the board passed an approval of the larger sizes.
Parents spoke of class sizes at the district’s elementary being in the mid 20s, an amount they felt compromised the quality of their children’s education.
“The board of education changed our children’s education for the worse,” said one mother of larger average class sizes the board had approved last year. The comment drew clapping from the audience.
Thursday, 17 October 2013 00:00
The Port Washington Soccer Club has presented Schreiber High School graduate and captain of the Port Washington Blue Knights, Cameron Boroumand, with the annual $1,000 Joe Cohen Scholarship.
The award, which has been presented annually for over 10 years, was established by the Port Washington Soccer Club to honor Joseph Cohen, a gifted athlete who attended college on a soccer scholarship. He went on to achieve outstanding success, first academically, and then in his professional life. He gave his time fully and with great heart to innumerable charitable endeavors.
Thursday, 17 October 2013 00:00
The tough and talented Port Washington volleyball team defeated Hicksville at an away game this past Friday in all three sets.
With strong returning players who also play on club teams year round, the Port Washington team plays with a certain level of chemistry. Megan Murphy and Kelly Nardone led the way with 12 assists and Mia Walker had six kills.